The answer below is by Hazrat Maulana Ahmad Sadeq Desai:
Q. Is it appropriate for Huffaaz to recite Qur'an at tremendous speeds during Ramadhan?
A. The quality of Hifz of present-day Huffaaz is truly lamentable. Throughout the country where the Huffaaz recite in Taraaweeh, a sad mockery of the Qur'aan and the Taraaweeh takes place. The recitation of the Huffaaz in general is putrid and spiritually nauseating. It is an insult to the sacred institution of Hifz to describe these Ramdhaan 'huffaaz' as Haafizul Qur'aan.. During the daytime, despite spending considerable time revising a couple of rukus' which will be recited in a couple of raka'ts, their recitation is cluttered with errors of a variety of kinds. The speed with which they recite betrays the great deficiency in their 'hifz'. The speed furthermore makes a massive mockery of the Ibaadat of Salaat.
While there are exceptions to this abominable state of affairs, they are rare. The majority of the so-called 'huffaaz' are not true haafizul Qur'aan. When a student would come to visit Hadhrat Masihullah (rahmatullah alayh) and if in response to his query he said that he was a haafiz, Hadhrat would ask: "A Ramdhaani hafiz or a Haafizul Qur'aan?" A "Ramdhaani hafiz" is the kind of chap who is the Imaam in a couple of raka'ts of Taraaweeh and acquits himself in the manner described above. The entire year he remains oblivious of the Qur'aan Majeed. During Ramadhaan he suffers during the daytime swotting the couple of Rukus he is supposed to recite in Taraaweeh. He is not a true Haafiz. On the other hand, a Haafizul Qur'aan, is a Haafiz who has the Qur'aan Majeed inside his heart, in his mind, and on his Tongue and finger tips. He is a true Guard of the Qur'aanic text.
A Haafiz of the Qur'aan should make it his incumbent duty to recite the entire Qur'aan in his daily Sunnat and Nafl Salaat throughout the year. The Sunnat and Nafl Salaaat attached to the Fardh Salaat, Tahajjud, Ishraaq, Dhuha, Tahyatul Wudhu, Tahyatul Musjid, Awwaabeen, etc. offer him ample opportunity to revise and solidify his Hifz every day of the year. But, the so-called huffaaz, rush through their daily Salaat reciting the short Surahs. In addition to this, the Haafiz should recite at least 10 Juz daily. From the 24 hours he has to devote only about 3 and half hours which he could spread over the entire day and night. If the hafiz does not adopt this or a similar system it is obvious that the Qur'aan Majeed will slip from his memory. Another factor of vital importance is that indulgence in sin and futility adversely affects Hifz. A haafiz who does not inculcate Taqwa will increasingly tend to forget his Hifz. The Qur'aan does not coexist with a heart contaminated with evil. The Qur'aan is pure noor which can coexist only in a heart which glitters with noor.
In Imam Shurunbulali 's (RA) Maraqi'us-Sa'adat (Ascent to Felicity) it's written that it's a communal (kifaya) Sunnah for men to pray Tarawih in Jama'ah as well as to recite the entire Qur'an once in Tarawih
Is it Obligatory to Complete the Entire Qur'an During Tarawih Prayers?
August 8th, 2011
Answered by Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam
Question: You are aware that Eisha time here in the UK is very late this Ramadhan. As a result, offering 20 Rak'at Tarawih in the local Mosque becomes extremely difficult for me, as we usually finish just before midnight! I have a difficult job and need to wake up early in the morning. Given this, would it be sinful, wrong or disliked if I did not follow a complete recitation of the Qur'an (khatam) and instead performed 20 short Rak'ats of Tarawih with some friends reciting short Surahs from the Qur'an?
Answer: In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,
Reciting the entire Qur'an (khatm) once in Tarawih prayers is an important Sunna that has been practiced by the Muslims throughout the centuries. As such, it should not be abandoned in the various Mosques where there has been a tradition of completing the Qur'an, even if the time for Eisha is late.
However, if one experiences genuine hardship in reciting or listening to the entire Qur'an, it would be permitted for him/her to recite short Surahs or verses from the Qur'an during Tarawih prayers. In fact, the late Hanafi jurists (fuqaha) have ruled that it is better, in our times, to have an amount recited that will not burden people or lead them to stay away from the congregation.
Imam al-Haskafi (Allah have mercy on him), the renowned Hanafi jurist, states:
"Completing the Qur'an (khatm) once [in Tarawih prayers] is Sunna, completing it twice is virtuous, and completing it thrice is even better. As such, its completion should not be abandoned due to people's laziness. However, it is stated in 'Al-Ikhtiyar' that it is better in our times to recite an amount that does not burden people..."
The commentator of Haskafi's work, Imam Ibn Abidin (Allah have mercy on him) explains further by saying that the majority of Imams including Abu Hanifa (Allah have mercy on him) consider completing the Qur'an to be an important Sunna. However, he says, certain rulings change based on the needs and interests of people, and thus in our times [Ibn Abidin's], it is better to recite an amount that will not lead to people staying away from the congregation, because having a larger congregation is superior to lengthy recitation.
He then quotes Imam Ibn Nujaym (Allah have mercy on him) from his Al-Bahr al-Ra'iq as saying that the correct position in the Hanafi School is that completing the Qur'an is a Sunna. However, this does not mean a Khatm cannot be left out [even] if it results in alienating people; rather it is superior to choose that which is tolerable for the masses...
He then quotes from Al-Mujtaba that the late Hanafi jurists (muta'akhirun) ruled that three short verses or one long verse may be recited in each Rak'at of Salat al-Tarawih in order that people don't become jaded and thus avoid the congregation. Al-Hasan relates from Imam Abu Hanifa (Allah have mercy on him) that reciting three verses after Surat al-Fatiha in obligatory (fard) prayers is good and not disliked, and as such, if it is allowed in Fard prayers, it will be allowed in Nafl and Tarawih prayers too. (See for the whole discussion: Radd al-Muhtar ala 'l-Durr al-Mukhtar 2/46-47)
As such, in conclusion, it is important to have the entire Qur'an recited during Tarawih Prayers within the major Mosques in the towns and cities. However, as outlined in your question, this can become difficult for some people especially currently in the UK where Tarawih prayers are very late. In such cases, it is permissible for you to offer Tarawih prayers in congregation reciting short Surahs or verses from the Qur'an. This will not be sinful, wrong or even disliked, although you will miss out on the rewards for completing the Qur'an in Tarawih prayers.
The post above by mufti ibn Adam makes perfect sense, as opposed to the comment from another Shaikh who says we should read swiftly so as to avoid putting off people.
Alhamdullilah over the years I have also witnessed an improvement from some huffaz even though the fast culture is still present in the mentality of the musales. I am also hearing more Ulama speaking out. May Allah increase our attachment to the Quran and allow us to remain steadfast, and save us from being deprived from the Quran. Ameen
This cannot be undone and I am sure it will be greatly appreciated.
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